The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 comes with the stock Android recovery software out of the box. This offers a fair number of features but there are much more available in custom recovery options. So let me walk you through how to replace the stock recovery with the popular custom solution known as TWRP for both Snapdragon & Exynos devices.
Most people are happy to use the software that is installed on their smartphones. There are some instances where root access may be desired in order to enhance the stock features provided by the smartphone OEM. But for the most part, people tend to buy a device from a company they enjoy the software from.
But then there are those who enjoy the hardware made by a company but want to use other software (a custom ROM or kernel for example).
These folks are going to need to replace the stock Android recovery with a custom solution in order to gain the ability to “flash” (aka install) this custom software on their device. This is where TWRP comes into play. It allows us to install various mods downloaded from places like XDA-Developers onto our smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, etc.
Differences Between the Snapdragon and Exynos Variants?
Yes, this tutorial will walk you through the entire process in a step by step fashion to get TWRP installed on your Galaxy Note 10. There are TWRP builds available for both Exynos and Snapdragon Galaxy Note 10 devices but there is a caveat to Snapdragon devices. There are only a few regions that sell the Snapdragon model that you can unlock the bootloader through official means.
An exploit may be released in the future that allows the United States and Canada Snapdragon models to be unlocked, but that is very rare.
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The following tutorials will focus on the Exynos variant as well as the Snapdragon model that can be easily unlocked. And remember, by unlocked I mean “bootloader unlocked”, not “carrier unlocked”. There is a big difference here so even those who purchased the “U” variant will not be able to do this because that is a carrier unlocked device.
How to Install TWRP on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10?
Samsung sells the Exynos variant of the Galaxy Note 10 in most countries around the world. It uses the company’s in-house SoC (dubbed Exynos) instead of the Snapdragon chip from Qualcomm. Since they are not under the thumb of U.S. wireless carriers with this variant, we can unlock the bootloader to this device.
Still, the process to install TWRP on the Exynos and the (compatible) Snapdragon variants are virtually identical. Just make sure you download the right TWRP build for your specific device.
In order to install TWRP on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, you need to have the following things done ahead of time.
- Unlock the Bootloader
- Since installing TWRP requires us to put unofficial code in unauthorized partitions of the Galaxy Note 10, we need to unlock the bootloader which grants us access to do so.
- Gain Root Access (Optional)
- This tutorial assumes you have already gained root and have Magisk Manager installed.
- Backup Your Data
- This process requires us to format the /data partition so if you have anything important on your smartphone then back it up ahead of time.
With those done, you are now prepared to follow this step by step tutorial to install TWRP on the Exynos Galaxy Note 10. This is all thanks to the work of people like XDA Senior Member geiti94, XDA Senior Member ianmacd, and many many others in the Android community (please donate to these people if you can). This all started with Android 9 TWRP builds but everyone should be on Android 10 now so we’ll be focusing on that and Android 11 (when it is available).
- Download the TWRP build for your version to the smartphone
- Open the Magisk Manager application
- Tap the “Install” button (next to the Magisk section)
- Tap on the “Install” option when the box appears
- Then tap the “Select and Patch a File” option
- Browse to and choose the TWRP build we downloaded in Step #1
- Wait for Magisk Manager to patch the TAR file
- Then copy this TAR file to the PC
- Download the Multi Disabler tool
- We’ll be installing this via TWRP soon
- Download and Install Odin on your PC
- Right-click the Odin EXE file and choose “Run as Administrator”
- Click the “Options” tab and make sure “Auto Reboot” is not checked
- Boot the Galaxy Note 10 into Download Mode (USB method)
- Keep the USB cable connected
- Click the “AP” box in Odin
- Then locate and choose the TWRP TAR file we finished patching in Step #8
- When ready, click the “Start” button in Odin and wait for the green PASS message
- Then unplug the USB cable
- Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons until the smartphone reboots
- Then immediately begin holding the Power and Volume Up buttons
- Continue holding these two buttons down until you boot into TWRP
- If TWRP executes a script and reboots the phone then immediately begin holding the Power and Volume Up buttons again. Continue holding these two buttons down until you boot back into TWRP.
- Failure to do this, or to boot into Recovery Mode after TWRP has been flashed will result in Android overwriting TWRP with the stock recovery software.
- When in TWRP, tap the “Wipe” button
- Then tap the “Format Data” button and type “yes” before tapping the blue Enter/Check button on the keyboard
- Wait for TWRP to format your /data partition and tap the Home button when it’s done
- Now connect the Note 10 to the PC with a USB cable again
- Transfer the Multi Disabler tool to the smartphone
- Then you can tap the “Install” button
- Browse to where you put the ZIP file
- Tap it
- Swipe the white arrows to the right to begin the installation
- And then tap the Home button once it finishes.
- Tap the “Reboot” button
- Choose the “System” option
- Wait for the Galaxy Note 10 to reboot and then hold the Power and Volume Up buttons during boot
- This is the normal procedure to boot the Galaxy Note 10 with Magisk loaded as well.
Note – Your first boot back into Android after installing TWRP will freeze as Android is trying to rebuild your cache. This is completely normal (you see the break in my video below). Simply hold the Power and Volume Down buttons together (about 3 minutes after you try to boot the first time) until the device restarts. It will boot into the Android OS and its activation screen this time around.
So yea, that looks like a ton of things to do but that is mainly due to the way I structure my tutorials. Other “guides” for this online are vague and some only consist of 12 steps that cover everything from unlocking the bootloader to installing TWRP. I can’t publish work like that though and feel that most people want more detail and instructions with these types of tutorials.
What we are doing here is basically the same as what we did when we gained root access to the Galaxy Note 10. Except for this time, we are only loading one file into Odin since we already have root access. That, and we need to flash the Multi Disabler tool once we install TWRP so that it plays nicely with the security features Samsung put on the phone.
Beyond that, the only real thing that you should focus on is making sure the Auto Reboot option is not checked.
Unlike the Magisk tutorial I did before, we need to make sure the Galaxy Note 10 does not reboot right when Odin is done installing TWRP. If we boot into Android without first booting into TWRP and flashing this tool then Android will overwrite TWRP with the stock recovery when you boot into the OS.
If you only want to play with TWRP temporarily then that is fine. But most who go through these steps will want to keep TWRP installed.
Will this Work on the Snapdragon Galaxy Note 10?
So yes, there are official TWRP builds available for the Snapdragon variant of the Note 10 and the Note 10+. I’m not seeing anything available for the 5G variants at this time but I suspect this has more to do with them not being released in markets where bootloader unlockable Snapdragon units are sold.
The steps are actually identical to the Exynos version except for the different TWRP builds that are required. However, you have to remember that most people with the Snapdragon version fo the Galaxy Note 10 will not be able to complete this tutorial. Please make sure your bootloader is unlocked (and unlockable) before you start looking into TWRP or Magisk.
This means if you purchased your Galaxy Note 10 from carriers like AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, or any of the MVNOs reselling their service then you are unable to unlock the bootloader. This means you will not be able to install TWRP on your device without an available exploit.
As of right now, there are no such known exploits that make this possible.